Monday, 21 March 2016

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn - Review and Giveaway!

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn

Publishing Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Pages: 416 pages
Young Adult/Supernatural/Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new…pterodactyl…at school. After all, everybody wants him! Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing" (A/CDB). 

My overall thoughts and review: When I was first messaged about this book, I had to re-read the email because I was honestly like "A PTERODACTYL? Now I've heard it all!" I was instantly intrigued. I first fell in love with YA via supernatural elements such as Vampires, Werewolves, etc.. but never was there a book (that I had come across) that included dinosaurs. I was a little bit intrigued and also a bit skeptical. I will admit, I was thinking that the Pyke character (the pterodactyl) was going to be a regular teenage boy that has the ability to turn into a pterodactyl, but Cumyn takes the narrative in a different direction. He is a teenage pterodactyl that appears one day at Vista View High and becomes a student. Pyke shows up and in a way disrupts Shiels' life, or rather, she allows him to occupy her thoughts. She is known as a "control freak" character and although her intentions are good, wanting to make sure that as the student body chair, there is a seamless transition for Pyke, she ends up getting sidetracked and her relationship with her boyfriend and friends are affected. While I had my reservations going into the text, and some moments throughout the text, I was quite frustrated with the characters, like Shiels and Pyke, you really have to look at what Cumyn is attempting to do (or at least what I think he is trying to do), underneath the regular narrative. Cumyn also speaks about how highschool relationships can sometimes end up, and how we can let another person completely consume our life which is problematic.

Yes, it is about a pterodactyl boy, as strange as that might sound and yes, Shiels makes the mistake of letting him consume her life, but I think Cumyn is speaking to a different message and that is about how "Othering/The Other" takes place in the narrative. You don't really get to know much about Pyke and what you do know is through Shiels perspective, so the reader has to remember that. Also, what Cumyn speaks to is what most highschool students who are transitioning to a new school, new environment face and feel daily. It may be race, gender, class, sexual orientation.. or it can simply be how a person chooses to dress or wear their hair. Pyke is a representation of something "Different" and "outside of the norm" and sometimes, that isn't well-received. I'm not saying, and I don't think Cumyn is saying that, that type of behaviour is ok, and it never is, but that isn't to say that it doesn't happen because it does. I honestly think that what Cumyn attempts to do is to bring about a discussion on an important topic such as discrimination that happens in a highschool setting, but this can unfortunately be veiled by the "Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend" title. I think this is definitely a book worth checking out and reading past the surface level; there is an important message there in my opinion, but you have to be willing to stick it out to find it.


And now.. the lovely folks at Simon and Schuster have very kindly offered to give away a FINISHED copy of the book to one lucky reader at Padfoot's Library. All you have to do is follow the blog via one of the following options: Google Friend Connector, Google+, Email or Bloglovin' AND leave me a comment telling me WHY you want to win this book. There are options to win extra entries by following the listed accounts on twitter. When the giveaway ends, I will contact the winner and S&S Canada will mail the finished copy over. 

Be sure to check out the other stops on the book blog tour!

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of this book was sent to me by Simon and Schuster Canada for consideration/review. The Finished Giveaway Copy will be sponsored by Simon and Schuster Canada and mailed directly to the selected recipient. This participation in the blog tour does not affect my review. All opinions are my own. 


  1. Very interested to see what this is all about!

  2. The premise seems so weird...I can't wait to read it and see how it turns out!

  3. While being different in high school is really difficult the issue of dealing with "the other" is such a huge one right now in society at large. This book sounds like it takes this to a ridiculous level to really illustrate that on the inside we all want the same things. It's very clever!

  4. I'd love to read this because the concept of being "different" seems to be taken to an extreme here which I presume makes the point more universal...sounds interesting. Plus dinosaur - who doesn't love the idea of a dino character!

  5. I'm adding "the author lives in the same city as me" to my why I want to read it list. I can check off "local author" in reading bingo :)

  6. I'll be honest, when I first heard this book (and finally saw it in stores), I was REALLY skeptical. I'm still not 100% sure what to think of it, based on the tagline. But if it really is deeper, a book that explores the 'Other' (which I am very interested in), I might give it a go. This review definitely opened my eyes to that! Thanks. :)

    Sasha @ The Writing Duo